Disclosure: I received a product to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed are my own.
Whether you are a beginner in the kitchen or have prepared enough meals to be considered “old hat,” Best of Bridge: Home Cooking will help you elevate your skills to the next level of awesome. This cook book is filled to the brim with recipes that feed the soul and warm the heart, while being accessible enough that you can find all the ingredients you will need with ease in your local supermarket. You will not find any over-the-top, impossible to prepare dishes in this collection. With 250 recipes, there is sure to be some that appeal to every foodie in your life.
In my house, the kitchen is truly the heart of the home. It’s where I spend a lot of time, personally. But, when we have guests, we more often congregate in the kitchen around the dining table or our spacious island, sometimes spilling out the atrium doors onto the rear deck where another large table with six comfortably cushioned chairs await a lively discussion of friends and family. We rarely congregate in the living room or our spacious media room, though we have invested a lot into those rooms to make them very comfortable. Rarely is more than a little mood music necessary or desired during get-togethers in our home.
Food is absolutely more than simply nourishment for our bodies, it is a balm that soothes our soul and a shared experience that forges new memories as we wax nostalgic about the old ones. It’s where we connect with each other, debate hot-button issues and share the happenings of our days. Memories cooking with my daughters (and even my son, from time to time) are some of the most enduring images in my mind. I hope that creating these special times with them will inspire them to go on to create similar ones with their little ones someday.
With recipes ranging the spectrum from dawn till dusk, you will find inspiration for meal items from breakfast to dessert, all within this complete guide to cooking for your family. I love that this volume is spiral bound within but with regular binding on the outside. It fits snugly into my collection of cook books, while still lying flat open while I am meal prepping. I dislike nothing more than having to weight down the pages so a book doesn’t slam shut on me, or breaking the binding to get it to lay flat. No such worries here, this book will be an absolute dream to work with in the kitchen. I also really enjoy the fact that the pages are printed with black font that resembles printed handwriting, with non-fussy red outlining around the recipes. It’s simple and clean and reminds me of just having a hand-written recipe card in front of me to work from.
A few recipes stood out to me that I am very excited to try out in my kitchen.
Chicken Tacos are a dish that I have long wanted to try but not gotten the courage to attempt to date. That one is bookmarked already and on the menu for this weekend on game day. The ingredients required are mainstays on my shopping list already as tacos are one of our favorite meals, so I typically have every item on the list in my kitchen on any given day already.
Just Peachy Pork is another recipe that stands out as a must-try. Again, the listed ingredients are those I buy regularly already, making this a recipe that I can just up and decide to try any day I get the inspiration to try something a little different, without having to drop everything and make a grocery store run.
A new, never before seen (by me, at least) recipe that I couldn’t wait to try — Fudge Drops. This sweet treat has been hiding (sort of) in my pantry for as long as I’ve owned a home, I just didn’t know it! Ingredients include semisweet chocolate chips, egg white, salt, white vinegar, vanilla extract, sugar, unsweetened flaked coconut and chopped pecans. I don’t always have coconut around, so I did have to stop into the grocery store for that. And pecans? Well, I like nuts by themselves, but I do NOT like them in most foods. There are very few exceptions to that rule, one being Payday candy bars and cheeseballs (if the nuts are very finely ground or very thinly slivered). So, I didn’t use that item when I made these cookies. I knew I should’ve taken a picture right away, but, I did not, so a stock image of this delicious mouth candy will have to do. The Fudge Drops literally flew off of the serving plate as everyone in the household converged on the kitchen. Sorry!!!
I loved the funny little witticisms found sprinkled throughout the book. Very surprising and welcome! For example, on page 61 the following gem can be found. “Have you ever had one of those days when you’re holding a stick and everybody looks like a piñata?” I saw that and just roared with laughter! Because I have totally had days like that. Haven’t you? Or how about this stellar piece of advice on page 42 – “Sign in a do-it-yourself store: Husbands choosing colors must have note from wives.” Spot on, am I right, ladies?
But my favoritest, favoritest, favoritest part about this particular cookbook is the story behind it. The Best of Bridge brand was born in 1975 when eight women who were the best of friends came together at a weekend getaway and brainstormed the idea of writing a cookbook filled with their favorite recipes. Since their get togethers and the food they enjoyed while together were a huge part of their lives, it seemed a natural progression to them. More than 40 years and 4 million copies later, this group of women has endured all that life can be cruel enough to hand out — divorce, major illnesses and death. Four of the original members are also deceased. But, Best of Bridge isn’t going out as the remaining ladies get closer to retirement age. They have recruited several younger counterparts, from their group of friends and family, of course, to whom to pass the
baton apron. And in so doing, a brand new generation of this brand is born to continue blessing the world with their love for cooking — this most basic facet of human connection.
Check out this video I found on YouTube to see the Ladies of Bridge in action.
If you only buy one cook book this year, either to keep or to gift, this should be it! If you try it, please come back and let us all know what you think of it. We all want to know!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the cookbook mentioned in this post to facilitate review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.